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September 19 , 2009

A Sporting Chance

Achievements of African-Canadian Athletes


Over the years, Canadians have smugly asserted their country’s more tolerant culture in race relations. Yet as this story of African-Canadian participation in sports demonstrates, the record is far more troubling. In reality, Canada’s record in matters of race was a disturbing blend of occasional good intentions and ugly practices. The study of the Black athletic experience in Canada is not only a revealing portrait into our past, but also one more demonstration of some time-honoured truths about human achievement and the necessity of the public will to provide open and fair forums for equal access to participation.

Presented in a chronological sequence, individual sports are presented along with the leading athletes who brought grace and a determination to achieve. Included are George Dixon, Sam Langford, Reuben Mayes, Ray Lewis, Sam Richardson, Dr. Phil Edwards, Jackie Robinson, Harry Jerome, Earl Walls, Donovan Bailey, Sylvia Sweeney, Molly Killingbeck, Herb Carnegie, Jamaal Magliore, Perdita Felicien and Jarome Iginla, to name but a few of the fine athletes who form a part of Canada’s sports heritage.

"As Canada’s foremost baseball historian, Bill Humber has chronicled another fascinating chapter from Canada’s rich sports history. This is an excellent read – entertaining, educational and expertly researched. As my pal Don Cherry might say: ’Two thumbs up, Bill.’"

– Brian McFarlane, Sports Family Ltd.

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